October Already

Hello again, well October has arrived and with it many places have had flooded roads and rivers are running high to overflowing here in the UK,  as for the last few days its done nothing but rain, rain, rain day and night.. 

Click on Photos to Enlarge . 

Cleared out the sweet corn and general tidy up The sprouts are now clearly visible standing to attention

 But thankfully before the rain set in last week, we had a wonderful week of sunny warm weather. Which my hubby and I took advantage of as we got stuck into more chores of clearing on the plot.. The sweetcorn came out and we cleared a space ready for the delivery of  manure which we order later this month.  You can see by the picture below just how the lettuce is growing and we have picked quite a few now, and the swedes are also filling out as are the carrots growing which will be weeded out once they get much bigger.

Lettuce on left, Swedes, and carrots, leeks, January Kings Cabbage and Sprouts far right

 We also reaped in our Butternut Squash and have stored around 24 largish Squash so we are very happy with our harvest of these as you see below. 

Butternut Sqaush

I also cleared out the borders on the front garden of the summer flowers which had gone past there best and also took down the hanging baskets and replenished the wall containers with winter pansies and cyclamens..  Which I forgot to take photos of.. Maybe next time..  I planted lots of chrysanthemums in various colours as well as dwarf daffodil bulbs. My intention is to fill the front border with more perennials next year so as to help with lower maintenance of Summer and Autumn planting..  

But there is still lots of colour in the  back garden and these fuchsias were made into standards by my husband are now three years old taken from one plant as cuttings. They have now been moved into the greenhouse as we have a pending forecast of frost for Wednesday..  

Rainbow light from hanging crystal

Since my  husband cleared and cleaned the pond in the spring its done really well, the fish are happy and the waterlily he cut back hard, and its produced many more flowers this year.  I think in total this year we have had nine or ten  blooms in total, where as in other years we have only had a couple. 

Water Lily in our pond.

You may remember a few months back I began knitting an Aran sweater, It got shelved in July when I went on holiday and upon our return we then started decorating our home and then had to catch up with the neglected plot, so this now knitting project has been completed. And I am very happy with its fit.

My hand knitted Aran sweater .

Have you any projects unfinished? Or have you about to start some..  I am being urged by my inner prompting to start painting again now the garden chores  have been caught up with.  So I will leave you with a gallery of some of the flowers still in bloom and the Dahlias are still in wonderful flower until the first frost hits them on the plot. 

 Until Next Time

  Take Care and Enjoy All you Create

Be it in the garden or in arts and crafts. 

💚 ENJOY! 💚

 

 

February Update: What’s going on in the Plot.

These first early months of the year can be very unpredictable weather wise, and I know compared with other parts of the world we here in the UK have got off lightly so far with clement weather, albeit a few cold and frosty morning.

Click images to enlarge:

As the plot looked this week walking down it to the sheds

But we never count our chickens, before they have hatched as the saying goes, and well remember last years icy blast from the East that hit us in March.. It is easy to get carried away with some mild sunny days and think to start planting, but keep an eye out for those weather forecasts. 

Spring cabbage and plenty of sprouts we keep harvesting in the background

So while hubby has been keeping the garden hoed over and making sure the muck has been well dug in, 

In the greenhouse on the allotment plot the day I took this photo with the sun shining it was 14C aprox 57F outside, and inside the Greenhouse it was 26C.. nearly 80F

Onion and shallot sets in the greenhouse

Hubby unlocking the sheds you can see the raspberry bushes and blueberry bushes all pruned.

Inside we still have butternut squash, and the apples are making lots of apple pies still, We pick through them every once in a while and throw out any which have gone bad.. But you can see we still have plenty to keep us going, 

Butternut Squash and apples in the trays, In the buckets on the floor are the Dahlia tubas

Fruit Cake and Apple and Raspberry Pie

 We are still harvesting Carrots, Parsnips and Swedes too, along with Leeks. making some delicious warming winter stews. . 

We saved a few of the broad-bean seeds and these are them growing in a small cold frame on the plot. next to them were wallflower seeds I planted in the autumn they will be ready to plant out for next year.

Broad beans

On the home front, our bulbs I planted in several tubs of Tulips and daffodils are coming through, these are sheltered at the side of the house right now, but come Spring will go to the front of the house.. Primroses are out in one tub too. 

Tulips and Daffs

Bulbs in tubs

Other projects I have been doing have been more knitting, I got a lot of bargain priced wool, So set about knitting a bobble hat for my granddaughter.. Here she is modelling it 

And I had enough blue wool I wanted to use up before starting on my new wool, so I decided to start knitting a short-sleeved top to go under the cardigan  I knitted a while ago to make a twin set.  This is as far as that has progressed to date. I loved the pattern so much and enjoyed creating it on the hat.. I thought to add it to the centre of what was a plain patterned top, So I worked out the stitches for the centre etc, 

Knitted Top

Those who are new to following here, this was the cardigan it will match.

This is the finished result of my knitting.. It took me around 3 weeks from start to finish..

Well dear friends, that is my February Update.. I hope you are all keeping well, and that the weather isn’t too harsh where ever you are.. 

Take care until Next time. 

Butternut Squash and a Gypsy Wood Burner

Already its been two weeks since my last post here, But a lot has been done in-between time in the garden especially. 

Where the potatoes were its now winter dug over and lime added

All the potatoes are now dug up and we have four huge hessian sacks full and sorted.. And I am using up all those that you manage to put the folk through first.. No matter how careful you are you always spike the biggest.. 

My Hubby has been winter digging where the potatoes were, a couple of hours each day while its been fine, and we have taken up the finished Pea rows..  The courgettes are now finished.  

Nearest is beetroot, Kale, and then the sprouts. Behind the sprouts are two rows of parsnips.

Here you can see the Brussels sprouts , Kale and Beetroot..  And we also have more young broccoli and cauliflower to mature along with leeks, parsnips, and rainbow chard.  

Spring cabbage planted.. And leeks to the left and as you can see the dahlias are still blooming, I regular pick and dead head them to encourage more flowers.

I still have an abundance of Dahlia’s and still keep picking these, until the frosts come and blacken the tops..  And then we will dig up the tubas to store them for winter.. But I will explain that when the time comes..

A different view of the cabbage under the cloche ..

We had some lovely young Spring Cabbage plants given us by a fellow allotmenteer… So we have now planted these in the allotment and put a cloche over them to protect them from the pigeons. Pigeons love young cabbage foliage and we have lots of pigeons in the woods near by and in a matter of minutes you can lose your crop as we have known to our cost in the past…. This will stay on now until the cabbages mature over winter..

Here are all the butternut squash, and under the bench are the four sacks of potatoes.. And yes, the shed got a clean out.

The Butternut Squash has been a bumper crop and we are so pleased with the harvest and will have plenty to share with our daughter this year..

these are the size of a small football, not huge but we can have fun sculpting these at Halloween.. 🙂

The Pumpkins too, although not Huge, will be ideal for what we grew them for Halloween, and goodness knows it will soon come around as time is certainly flying by so fast.

On our home Garden there are still a few blooms around giving us a magnificent show.. And our front garden although I have not taken a photo, is full of cosmos, and the chrysanthemums are all in bud ready to give us colour through Autumn.

My Husband has been busy in the greenhouse in our home garden, clearing it, cleaning it, and lagging it out with  a layer of thick clear plastic panels and bubble wrap.. We both have a feeling it will be a long colder winter this year.. Its been usually mild for several winters here in England and we have not had much snow.. Winters seem to be turning wetter and milder rather than cold and snowy.. But as we have some plants that we want to keep frost-free and cosy, My daughter treated her Dad to an early Christmas present, as he admired the Gypsy Wood burner she had got for her lean to greenhouse that sits on her walled garden..

Work in progress of fitting the wood burner in the greenhouse

So he spent some time working on installing it.. He went to a local garage that fitted car exhaust pipes, and asked if they had any pipe of a certain size to fit, He took the little wood stove with him as it is only the size of a shoe box..

Here is the small gypsy wood burner stove,, You could boil a small kettle on top when lit.. The Temperature soared inside the greenhouse once lit and it gave off lots of heat..

And he got two pieces of exhaust and two brackets.. When he asked how much the garage man said to give him a Fiver.. Five Pounds.. So he got a bargain.. And with metal and sealant he found in our garage he set about installing it to our greenhouse. You can see the progress of how below..

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Until Next Time 

Happy Gardening

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Veggie Update .

As you can see the sweetcorn is growing taller and each one looks to have a number of cobs on them. So looks like a better  year for us this year.  Hover your cursor  over the pictures to reveal the titles, and click to enlarge to take to slide show in Galleries. 

Me in among the Sweetcorn those are the Butternut Squash in front.

 

My daughter made these the other day and sent me a photo of what she had made from the produce of our Allotment  garden .. Happy smiles..

 

Next to be revealed  is my Knitting, it is already completed, Until next Time 

Happy Gardening !

 

How the Garden Grows While you are away.

After being away for our holiday in Scotland for a week.. It was surprising just how  quickly everything had grown, including the weeds..  ( if you hover your mouse over each image it reveals what they are )  If you click it takes you to the slide where you can view larger and read full descriptions 

We had left off planting out our sweetcorn, pumpkins, and courgettes until we returned home.. 

The sweetcorn got planted too.. All 40 seeds came this year, a total difference of last year where we had to set twice to only get a poor crop compared with previous years. Proving again there are good and bad years in all crops..  

Below on the right photo you can see the Butternut Squash.. This is fast becoming a favourite of mine.. You can use in soups, stews, and I also like to use in making veggie curries, the milder kind and I personally do not like them too hot.  You can also see in the distance how the potatoes have grown. These were weeded through too. 

 

The runner beans we had shielded in case of any last minuted night frosts were uncovered from their lower shield.. You just never know until May is out.. and we planted Lettuce in the middle of them. And they had really got growing up the supports.  To the right below, is the Rainbow Chard.. This is wonderful steamed or raw in salads with younger leaves.. 

A surprise for me.. What I had thought of as all last years Gladioli’s corms coming through where we had a few last year and I had left all the young new shoots in the ground.. They turned out not to be Gladioli after all.. But Yellow Iris’s.. 

How come, you may ask.. Well.. It has to be at least three years ago, we had a sunken half water barrel that we used as a sort of pond for wild life.. lots of toads and frogs would use it,  all good for slugs and insects, so  we planted an out grown Yellow Iris in there from our small home garden pond as it got too big for it.. So we split it, putting part in the home garden and I didn’t want to just destroy the other half, so put it in barrel pond.  It then outgrew it the following year, and we got rid of the water barrel pond.. As a harsh winter froze the water which led to some frogs dying in the submerged water barrel.. So we got rid of it.. The area you see below is where that pond was.. The Iris’s had large seed pods on, so these must be the Iris’s from those seeds.  Isn’t Nature Grand!! 

We had lots and lots of leeks left over.. And nothing much gets wasted.. So I dug up two of the raised beds and planted some in there. They are closely packed but these I will use first. And all the family enjoy leeks so none will go to waste.

Hubby put up one more net , Each tunnel has two rows over cabbage three sorts, Kale, Curly and Russian  Black kale,  Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflowers etc.. We also had the tunnel protectors off and I weeded inbetween, and planted marigolds in between them all.. The nets protect from both pigeons and cabbage white butterflies. 

Tunnels over Brassicas

On the Home Garden I will finish off showing you our Olive bush, which our Daughter brought us in January for an Anniversary.. It stands at the side of this beautiful Jasmine, which I showed earlier in the year protected by bubble wrap.. Its now in full bloom and the fragrance from it is just Beautiful

HAPPY GARDENING!

~Sue~

Jasmine and the Olive bush..

Autumns Golden Treasures

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Autumns Gold early morning along a favourite local walk.

The end of September saw both my hubby and I busy getting the allotments straight for our short break away in Scotland so it would be low maintenance upon our return.. Little did we think it would be so mild.. or that in England the rain coupled with the mild weather give our newly cleared weed free allotments time to grow. But as we all know weeds seem to have a growth spurt known only to themselves.. So we still had plenty to keep us busy when we returned..  Our time in Scotland on the other hand was Sunny and dry, not one drop of rain did we have until the day we departed for home.

Tarbert Scotland Loch Fyne.

Tarbert Scotland Loch Fyne.

There was much to do still, as the tomatoes had all about finished, and I made lots of fresh tomato soup daily as my husband cleared out the greenhouses both at home and on the allotments.  A tasty fresh tomato recipe can be found here. on my recipe pages.

The next thing we did was gather up the squashes.

For what ever reason, this year has not been half as good as last year for our butternut squashes.. They have not really ripened and many were decaying and going bad.. In fact those you see we put to ripen on the window ledge a third have already have had to be thrown away.. 

I spied this lone Nasturtium  amid the Squashes..  A splash of Gold amid the leaves.. 

The Autumn raspberry canes were cut back down to the ground.. The Spring ones we did in the beginning of September as I showed you below how we had thinned out the old shoots  and spaced them and tied them to the frame.. We have since cut back the tops to the top of the wooden framework. 

Raspberry Canes And Gladioli

And no Autumn post would be complete with out a few Autumn pictures. So here is a local walk we often do to a wild life lake close by. 

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Vicars Water

We came across this quite tame Robin. He stayed posing for us for some time.. My husband held out his walking stick to invite him to hop onto.. He considered it but declined :-)

We came across this quite tame Robin. He stayed posing for us for some time.. My husband held out his walking stick to invite him to hop onto.. He considered it but declined 🙂

This week has dropped colder and we have had our first overnight frost.. I gathered in what was the last of the Dahlia’s I think, they have given me a tremendous amount of pleasure this  Summer and Autumn and an abundance of flowers which have been share between family and neighbours. 

Dahlia's

Dahlia’s

As the garden winds down for the year, my craft work will now come out. My Knitting and Artwork will replace the gardening..  And already I am well into a knitting  project which I will share when it is finished. 

Happy Gardening

~Sue~

Invasion

We all know keeping a garden tidy is time-consuming. Keeping on top of the weeds, hoeing and watering in dry months too takes lots of dedication.

Weeds and Poppies

Weeds and Poppies soon overtake when your back is turned

Turn your back for five minutes and the weeds spring up and grow at an amazing pace compared with your crops..  And because we do not use any sprays to curb weeds or kill pests, you have to keep on top of things..

Now we have been so busy with picking, freezing and preserving in recent weeks, that parts of the garden where younger crops were not needed got over looked.

After weeding Beetroot

Weeding out revealed the young beetroot, I am leaving either side with weeds and poppies as beneath are young carrots and these easily disturb when you pull up the weeds, So its good habitat for insects and spiders.. Speaking of which I got two bites.. But nothing venomous here in the UK only red and itching marks.. Thank fully,

It didn’t take long before the weeds over took and covered everything up. So while Hubby was digging out the potatoes I got busy with this patch of weeding.

Potato Picking

Which was only scratching the surface.. Because there was also in-between the raspberries to re-weed, as well as around the Dahlias . I thinned out the raspberries and tied them up. These were the early ones.

Raspberry Canes And Gladioli

Raspberries tied up and thinned out. And Gladioli in front all cleared and weeded out

The Autumn raspberries are producing loads of fruit too which is being made into flans as quickly as I can pick them and frozen too for storage   The sweetcorn we are picking as each cob ripens and to date we must have had around 30 cobs off and frozen for storage.

Raspberries Autumn

Raspberries Autumn variety

The Strawberries finished long ago and were growing runners, These plants were off of last years runners and so this year we read that all you needed to do was cut back the strawberries and allow new growth to form..

Strawberry Bed

Strawberry bed, cut right back in the Autumn and new growth shoots soon sprout.

This is the new growth after only one week.. Even we didn’t believe how they produced new leaves so quickly.. But it has been exceptionally warm this September in what we call our  ‘Indian Summer’ it’s not often the temperatures soar to 24C to 28C this late in the year.. We were not complaining about the good weather. But digging and working in the heat did make both hubby and I wilt a little.

 

We also pulled up what was left of the Pea rows.. I had left some pods on deliberately so we could save and dry the seeds for planting next year.

 Below is the Butternut Squash Remember how we spaced them out and How Hubby put half cut plastic bottles for watering later?

This was redug out again, and we have planted butternut squashes in there. We put bottles into the ground when it was dry to allow water to soak into the roots and not get mildew on the leaves.. Since we did that, we have had rain none stop nearly for a week.. We left the Nasturtiums in from seed set last year. You can see the Old rickerty shed is still standing.. Soon to be demolished when we are on top of everything else.

This was redug out again, and we have planted butternut squashes in there. We put bottles into the ground when it was dry to allow water to soak into the roots and not get mildew on the leaves.. Since we did that, we have had rain none stop nearly for a week..
We left the Nasturtiums in from seed set last year.
You can see the Old rickety shed is still standing.. Soon to be demolished when we are on top of everything else.

Well this is now how it looks

Butternut Squash

You can see how those canes come in handy to detect where the bottles are under the leaves to water.

The water system my hubby did with the cut water bottles at the roots of the Butternut Squash when he planted came in handy. The canes marked the spot of the bottles which got lost among the foliage of the squash.

Watering the leaves can lead to mildew so this proved much better for watering and they are thirsty plants, each one would devour a huge watering can in seconds. My arms felt they had grown in length by several inches after carrying water back and forth.. Thankfully this is why we put the water barrels to catch water near the shed, so it saves on leg and arm power walking to and from the water cistern tanks on the allotments.

Harlequin Bug

Harlequin Bug

We also noted we now not only have got invaded with white fly upon our kale and purple sprouting broccoli. But we have over the years been invaded with the Harlequin Ladybug . This ladybug is not native to our Islands and has flown over from Europe. This is causing a threat to our own red native  Ladybug species, as it not only eats the aphids but will also eat the eggs of other ladybugs and butterfly caterpillar larvae too.. So I reported my find, I spotted two on the allotments to the Ladybug Survey Here  So any one in the UK who spots one of these can report it to their website so data is collected.. More about what these Harlequin bugs and their habitats  can be found here

Here to end, yes there is an end to this post.. (Sorry its been a long one this time)  are  the rest of the pictures taken .

 Happy Gardening until next time 

~Sue~